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Cellphone Unlocking Now Free in Canada Thanks to CRTC Wireless Code

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The day Canadians have been waiting for has finally arrived: cellphone unlocking is now free in Canada, as devices must also be sold unlocked as well.

This is all thanks to the CRTC Wireless Code, as new enhancements have gone live. Gone are the days of paying $50 to your wireless carrier to unlock your iPhone or other cellphone.

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Here is what you need to know about today’s December 1, 2017 changes: 

  • (NEW) Limit on data & roaming charges – The account holder, by default, is the only one who can consent to data overage and data roaming charges beyond the established limits (capped at $50 in Canada and $100 International roaming).
  • (NEW) Unlocked cellphones – Mobile devices unlocked free of charge, upon request, and all newly purchased devices unlocked.
  • (NEW) Trial period – Use up to half of your monthly usage during the trial period.

Other Existing Wireless Code Rights

  • No cancellation fees after 2 years – You can cancel your contract after 2 years with no cancellation fees – even if you have agreed to a longer term.
  • Clear language – Your contract and related documents must be provided to you in plain language.
Note that Rogers and Telus recently asked the CRTC for extensions in late November for applying these new Wireless Code enhancements. Both companies are citing shared accounts make it difficult to apply the code in time since billing systems will require updates, asking for extensions into spring of 2018.
In 2016, wireless carriers generated $37.7 million in unlocking fees, from 943,000 requests to unlock devices. As of today, that unlocking revenue is gone for carriers, and some customers suspect prices may increase elsewhere to make up for lost revenue.
With all cellphones capable of being unlocked free of charge now, customers will no longer be tied down to a specific carrier, as they have in the past.
If you need to get your phone unlocked, contact your carrier for details. Let us know how the experience goes (they will be busy). Read more about the CRTC Wireless Code here.

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  • Great news! Rogers/Telus should not be granted an extension.

  • Able to cancel without penalty after 2 years.
    To me, this tells me it will result in higher monthly fees to contract a phone out. They are going to make sure they get their slice of the pie one way or another.

  • Sarge

    That was put into place 2 years ago

  • Whoops! You’re right!
    I shouldn’t leave comments at 6AM before my morning coffee lol

  • xeronine992

    Can one obtain an unlock code even if you’re no longer with the provider? I used my Fido Dollars when I left Fido but the phone is locked and I’m with Rogers now.

  • Mario Gaucher

    I would like to know too…
    I have an iPhone bought with Fido… left for Vidéotron… but I would like to occasionally use this iPhone with Vidéotron or maybe sell it to a friend.

  • Christian Hamann

    Just chat with Rogers. All done.
    Now I have to restore with iTunes.

  • Mario Gaucher

    correct me if I’m wrong… but I don’t think that a restore is necessary anymore.
    last time I tried to put a different sim in a locked iPhone, it went to some kind of activation mode… and it said unsupported sim after a few secondes because phone was still locked. but I suspect that if Apple had the unlocked status of this device updated on their servers, I would have been able to activate the iPhone without restoring.

  • spencehewitt

    This is exactly what happened though. It used to be that you could get a phone free with a 3 year plan and the monthly rates were reasonable. At least for the non big 3 companies. Which I thought was the sweet spot, my phones seem to last at least that. Now you pay anywhere between 15 and 50 dollars a month on top of your regular monthly rate.

  • FragilityG4

    All you have to do is restart the phone. A restore is not necessary. I did it last year.

  • _Eric

    Yes, great question. I have all my old iPhones and would love the satisfaction of getting them all unlocked out of spite!

  • Mario Gaucher

    apparently yes…
    I’ve contacted Fido on their facebook page.
    they asked me to fill a form with my name, postal code and birthdate.
    a few minutes later, it was all good… iPhone unlocked.

  • Mario Gaucher

    no need to restart… just insert the sim card… it will go to activation mode… and voilà! iPhone will be unlocked (just did that with my old iPhone locked to Fido… and now working with my Vidéotron sim card)

  • Dave

    I seen where Bell says you can do it from their MyBell app.
    I have looked through the app and can’t find it, if it’s there I’ll assume that they buried it.

    Does anyone know if it’s there, and where?

  • Matt Coleman

    No need to restart. Put in a different sim card and it will bring you to the activation screen where it wil sync with the Apple servers and complete the unlock.

  • Christian Hamann

    I have a different SIM card (Telus) but is burn. (Not in service)
    That will work?

  • bajwamar

    you can do it online but when I tried it said we have encountered an error so please call us

  • Kael

    Simple math. Phones now cost a lot more than they used to, and you have to pay it back in 2 years vs 3. People do not know the ACTUAL price of phones because it is hidden within the plans. What you are now seeing the real prices of phones. You can find free phones if you look. I still recommend going on a monthly plan and purchasing the phone outright if you want to save money.

  • FragilityG4

    Yeah I did it last year for my wife’s phone. Just restart it and pop in another sim and check it out.

  • Wynncy Manalad

    unlocked by a Fido rep. I just gave my imei and that’s it. My phone is unlocked

  • FragilityG4

    I’m not sure. Try one of you’re friends sims

  • Samano

    What’s next better rates for mobile plan or this will cause a hike

  • Geo Turner

    If you have a phone with a suspended account and or have money owing, they will not unlock it.

  • Scott Ballantyne

    Telus will unlock via their in browser chat option. Switched to Public a few months ago, and they unlocked it just now.

  • Justine liwanag

    Hi what do I need in order to get it unlocked for free?

  • Scott Ballantyne

    Your Telus account info, and your imei.

  • mcfilmmakers

    can We finally move on to requiring an unlimited data option no greater than 100$ per month and a regulated maximum fee structure based on number of users who choose the plan to drive down prices for literally everything else?

    How about a minimum service plan at 25$ like they did with TV? Something like 50 minutes + 1GB and unlimited texting. Seems like these plans have disappeared lately.

  • mcfilmmakers

    They are required by law.

  • Cheri KN

    I bought an iphone from kijiji. Can i get that phone unlocked too? Or would I need a fido account to get it unlocked?

  • Mario Gaucher

    Unless it has been reported stolen or original owner had a debt with Fido, you should be fine.
    Call Cs or contact them on Facebook.
    When contacting them on Facebook, I gave imei, serial number and model.
    I’ve told them I don’t have an account with Fido anymore. They asked me to fill a form with my name, postal code and birthdate. Got the iPhone unlocked right after that

  • Biggy604

    I think it would most likely cause an increase in mobile plans. Or an increase in their “contract discounts”.

  • Samano

    Freedom is shaking things up

  • Doug Wight

    Looks like Bell is refusing to honour this regardless of the changes to the law, first claiming that you have to be an active customer, and once I found an active customer to call in, claiming that the phone can’t be unlocked because it remains “active” on another account.

    Not stolen, not on contract, but “active” in a way that never expires, and will never change. I was eventually connected to a manager who admitted that it was almost certainly a glitch in their system, but as a result the system won’t unlock the device. I wonder how many other people are stuck in limbo like this.

    I was also told by the manager that people were waiting approximately 2hrs on hold to get through to get their phones unlocked.

  • That Guy

    Did you get this resolved? I have a 6S and bell wont unlock it because previous owner didn’t pay the bill. Had no issues unlocking with Telus or Rogers. Hate Bell already. Rogers was a dream compared to Bell

  • That Guy

    Just called into Bell and yeah they wouldn’t unlock it because it was money owing from original owner. Starting to really hate Bell

  • mcfilmmakers

    Not legal. Tell them and complain to CRTC and competition bureau. They have to offer phones unlocked to new subscribers on contract so the excuse that you owe money is a flat out lie – new subscribers owe money the day they sign but their phones are unlocked!

  • Chrome262

    15 bucks would be nice, 40 dollars on top of the plan. so expensive.

  • Chrome262

    unlocked mine though rogers chat, they told me to restore and all that, but I haven’t. I guess I could check somewhere online to see. And I don’t have another sim to check it out, but, I guess I could do it with a friends

  • Mario Gaucher

    Usually, when Rogers says it’s now unlocked, you are fine.
    No need to restore. If you put a different SIM card from an other provider in your phone, it will go into activation mode and unlock your phone automatically.

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